As Seen In: Grease (1978)
The Cheerleader: The new girl in school, who sets about changing the ways of bad-boy greaser, Danny Zuko. When she realises he’s not about to change his personality overnight, she dons a leather jacket and changes her own look instead. Not sure about the moral message there, but hey, the songs are catchy!
Cool Skills: Not only can she dance (something of a prerequisite for a cheerleader) but she can sing as well. Throw in the ability to tolerate John Travolta’s oil-slick hair, and you’ve got a triple-threat, baby!
As Seen In: Death Proof (2007)
The Cheerleader: Whether or not Lee is an actual cheerleader is never revealed, but she spends the duration of the film in a cheerleader’s outfit, which is good enough for us. It’s Lee who is left behind as collateral when the rest of the girls borrow a Dodge Charger, telling the owner she is a porn star. We never see what happens to her next, which has always kind of bugged us, since the car’s owner doesn’t seem the most savoury of souls…
Cool Skills: A lovely singing voice, as evidenced by her soulful rendition of Burt Bacharach’s Baby It’s You .
As Seen In: Buffy The Vampire Slayer (1992)
The Cheerleader: Before Sarah Michelle Gellar came sashaying into the spotlight, Kristy Swanson played Sunnydale’s resident demon hunter in this early-’90s clunker. Probably the most kick-ass cheerleader on this list, and cute as a button to boot.
Cool Skills: The ability to turn the agents of hell into smouldering piles of dust. Oh, and she can do the splits as well.
As Seen In: Fired Up (2009)
The Cheerleader: In case you never caught Fired Up (where have you been?), it tells the story of a pair of jocks who join cheerleading camp in order to get laid. A recipe for hilarity if ever we heard one. Carly is the head cheerleader, and object of one of the boys’ affections. You have now seen the film. No need to thank us.
Cool Skills: The ability to turn a life-long jock into a cuddly, new-age man with feelings and everything! She’s a keeper.
Courtney, April & Monica
As Seen In: Ninja Cheerleaders (2008)
The Cheerleaders: They’re three cheerleaders who make a few extra bucks by doubling as both strippers and sword-swinging samurais. Seriously, what more do you need to know?
Cool Skills: They can slice a thug into ribbons whilst simultaneously disrobing and dancing in formation. Why is this sort of thing never on Britain’s Got Talent ? It’s a yes from us!
Kelly Van Ryan
As Seen In: Wild Things (1998)
The Cheerleader: The duplicitous femme fatale who sets about seducing anyone who crosseds her path in this batshit-crazy erotic thriller. One third of probably the most famous three-way sex scene ever commited to celluloid, and that alone warrants her spot on this list.
Cool Skills: Her inability to take a shower without turning it into an orgy of pouting, hair-tossing steaminess. Get that woman a shampoo ad.
As Seen In: Man Of The House (2005)
The Cheerleader: Christina performs her standard role as a sassy cheerleader (See Love Don’t Cost A Thing and Bring It On: Fight To The Finish for further examples) in this ropey Tommy Lee Jones vehicle. This time, she’s one of a group of cheerleader witnesses who need protecting. Sounds plausible, no?
Cool Skills: The ability to coax a smile from the grizzled, granite-hewn face of Tommy Lee Jones. No mean feat.
As Seen In: The Replacements (2000)
The Cheerleader: Brooke Langton play the love interest to Keanu Reeve’s choke-tastic quarterback, providing him with the moral support he needs to finally realise his potential. Every bit as hackneyed as it sounds, but Langton is charming enough, despite the limited material.
Cool Skills: The patience to stick with Keanu Reeves, despite his coma-patient charisma. Give that woman a medal!
As Seen In: Bring It On (2000)
The Cheerleader: The head cheerleader of tough, inner-city cheer squad the East Compton Clovers, Isis’s take-no-shit attitude and gravity defying moves have Kirsten Dunst’s girls on the run. Until they decide to cheat, that is. Problem solved!
Cool Skills: Not only is she streetwise, sassy and sexy in the way that only a crudely drawn African-American character can be, but Isis is also a good sport, which handily facilitates the film’s happy ending. Good for her.
As Seen In: Not Another Teen Movie (2001)
The Cheerleader: Playing stone-cold bitch Priscilla, Jaime Pressley scores some of the few redeeming laughs in this train-wreck comedy spoof. And although her character is a piss-take of every other cheerleader on this list, she also gets to break out some seriously impressive dance moves!
Cool Skills: The ability to crowbar the word “cheer” into at least one word per sentence. “This is not a cheerocracy” anyone? No?